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Orchard Grass Hay Question

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Bella123

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#1
Since I got my guinea pigs I have been feeding them Timothy hay.

I recently bought a very small bale of oxbow orchard grass for a change and it was very popular.

I like the Orchard grass as apparantly so I read it has a lower calcium content then most hays and its much softer then timothy, which is good for lessening hay eye pokes.

But being more soft would it be good long term for my piggies teeth (keeping them at a healthy length) or is timothy hay the betters choice. If you buy orchard grass hay as your staple hay, have any of you had any dental problems?

Thanks for reading.
 
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#2
what I know is that also fresh grass has a grinding action and all the grass which is transformed in hay. It contains a substance I don't remember the name, which makes teeth keep their good structure and lenght.
I don't feed my piggies with timothy, I use common hay of different brands, they eat fresh long grass as their main food and so far their teeth are okay. They are young (6 months old).
I think that you should give it a try and the vet will soon realise if something is going wrong. But I don't think so... also at the rescue they advised me to use the common hay...
It would go wrong only if your piggies refuse eating the new hay! it might happen...
 

Kylie80

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#3
I have the oxbow orchard grass too which the piggies love and agree that it is nice and soft and also smells really sweet. I give them a handful as a treat every couple of days. When I had the piggies at the vet the other day he was happy that they were eating mostly timothy hay as it is the lowest in calcium and is long strand which is great for wearing down their teeth and when I first joined the forum it was the hay most recommended to me to feed freely. I would not give up on the timothy hay even though it can be quite stalky :(
 

Guineapigfeet

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#4
I've never fed any of my pigs specifically Timothy hay. All have lived on 'meadow' hay, which sounds like the same as orchard hay and I've never had any teeth trouble.

My current hay is a mixture of grasses from ancient hay meadows, so may well have some Timothy in it (I wouldn't know how to recognise it though)
 

Guineapigfeet

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#5
I believe the substance @rome_italy is thinking of is silica. All grass contains this but some varieties may contain more than others? It's very hard to break down, which is why it keeps their there in check.
 
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#6
Yes, silica! I read different reviews about the silica on different variety (and I am not able to recognise every variety of grass...). And my piggies don't even like all the grass! I was thinking about planning an expedition to the mountain here near Rome, fill the car with very good and wild grass and make it dry for winter! ahha!:)):))
 

spock

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#9
my guys wouldn't touch Oxbow orchard grass either. It didn't feel soft, felt like I could get a paper cut from it! maybe bad batch!
 
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